Chef Moshe Basson Interview Part 2

Part 2 of the interview with Chef Moshe continues.

How did you become interested in gathering wild herbs?

The love of herbs is in my family. This interest was instilled in me since childhood. My father used to pick wild leeks for omelets. My teacher, Nehama, used to take my class into nature and showed us the mallow herb that her family ate during the time Jerusalem was under siege in 1948. It was natural for me to pick herbs on the way home from school. When you go out into nature with your father and sister and people with more experience, you begin to trust their knowledge.

Who are your influences in the kitchen?

My family. Cooking runs in my family. It is a gift. To be honest, either you have the gift or you don’t. Working in the kitchen is tough work. It can be a prison. It can be intense. I would recommend that if you don’t like being in the kitchen, don’t choose it as a profession. It takes confidence.

If you cannot visit Eucalyptus in person, here is an interesting recipe you can try at home.

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

1 lb. Jerusalem artichokes, peeled
1tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of saffron
6 cups homemade or sodium-reduced chicken or vegetable broth
12 blanched almonds
3 tbsp. water
3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
salt and freshly ground pepper

Prepare Jerusalem artichokes by cutting larger ones into quarters and smaller ones into halves. Set aside. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; add onion and garlic saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Add Jerusalem artichokes and saute another 4-5 minutes. Add saffron and broth and bring to a boil. Simmer covered for about 25-30 minutes. In the meantime, grind almonds finely in a spice grinder or food processor. Mix together with water in a small bowl. Add to soup with parsley. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and serve hot. Makes 6 servings.

Share your favorite artichoke recipes or try this one and tell us about it.

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